Yoshida Lab

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Neural Connectivity Development in Physiology and Disease Laboratory

The Yoshida Laboratory is interested in formation, function, and regeneration of motor circuits controlling locomotor and skilled movements. We especially study descending motor circuits including corticospinal circuits using various techniques such as molecular biology, mouse genetics, trans-synaptic viruses, optogenetic and chemogenetic tools, and spinal cord injury.

Yoshida Lab - Figure 1

THIS CROSS SECTION IMAGE OF THE CORONAL BRAIN REGION OF A GENETICALLY MUTANT PLEXA1 MOUSE SHOWS EVIDENCE CORTICO MOTOR-NEURON CELLS EIGHT DAYS AFTER RESEARCHERS INJECTED AN ALTERED RABIES VIRUS TRACER INTO THE ANIMAL’S FORELIMBS. THESE CONNECTIONS ARE ELIMINATED IN NORMAL WIDE MICE AS THEY MATURE. SCIENTISTS STUDYING MOTOR DISABILITIES REPORT IN SCIENCE THEY BLOCKED NERVE PRUNING IN THE DEVELOPING MUTANT MICE, MAINTAINED THESE CONNECTIONS TO ADULTHOOD. (FROM GU ET AL., SCIENCE, 2017)

Yoshida Lab - Figure 2

THIS IMAGE USES VIRAL TRACING TO MAP CONNECTED NEURONS FOR AN ANTAGONISTIC MUSCLE PAIR IN A BAX/BAK DOUBLE MUTANT ADULT MOUSE. RESEARCHERS REPORT IN THE JOURNAL NEURON THAT MOLECULAR SIGNALING FROM THE BAX/BAK’SPATHWAY IS IMPORTANT FOR MATURING MICE TO DEVELOP SYNERGISTIC CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE BRAIN AND OPPOSING MUSCLE PAIRS. (FROM GU ET AL., NEURON, 2017)

Yoshida Lab - Figure 3

THIS MICROSCOPIC IMAGE SHOWS CORTICOSPINAL NEURONS AND SYNAPTIC CONNECTIONS TO THE SPINAL CORD IN A MOUSE. SPINAL INTERNEURONS (BLUE) SHOW SYNAPTIC CONNECTIONS (IN GREEN) WITH CORTICOSPINAL AXONS (RED). RE‐ SEARCHERS REPORT IN CELL REPORTS THE MAPPING OF CRITICAL NERVE CONNECTIONS TO THE SPINE THAT DRIVE VOLUNTARY MOVEMENT IN FORELIMBS. THE GRIDLINES ALLOW SCIENTISTS TO PLOT THE NEURON LOCATIONS ALONG THE SPINAL CORD. (FROM UENO ET AL., CELL REPORTS, 2018).



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Yutaka Yoshida, Ph.D.

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